Cam Newton just recently signed a one year, incentive-based deal with the New England Patriots. The move isn’t surprising to many: Newton reportedly has been on the Patriots watchlist for months. And head coach Bill Belichick is known for making risky decisions on risky talent.
But perhaps, this is Belichick’s riskiest, but best move yet. He’s taking a chance on one of nine men in earth’s long history to win a Heisman and MVP trophy. His hope? To return Newton to even a third of what he used to be.
But this isn’t just a reclamation project for Newton, Let’s not forget that most of the media and fans have written off the Patriots dynasty due to the departure of Tom Brady.
The signing of Newton was more than just a coach making a risky decision. It was about Belichick proving to the NFL world that he had the coaching chops to still be successful without Brady.
Newton signing with the Patriots was to show the NFL world, and most importantly, the Carolina Panthers, that he could still be an impactful player.
Belichick and Newton needed each other. So, here we are with a possible revenge tour on the horizon.
But it’s essential to keep in mind the situation Newton is walking into currently. The Patriots are perhaps the most buttoned-up organization in team sports. Under Belichick’s rule, no player is more important than the team. Even Brady wasn’t exempt from Belichick’s team-first mantra.
In Newton’s case, he isn’t a “me” guy, but his personality and style are difficult to handle. In Charlotte, Newton was the face of the Panthers franchise. While Newton is used to the spotlight, he won’t get that opportunity with New England. However, he can work diligently to be an essential stakeholder in keeping the New England culture intact.
On the flip side, the Patriots don’t want to suppress too much of Newton and his outlandish persona. Newton’s personality got him to where he is today. Belichick is aware of this and knows it could pose a few challenges in the beginning. But this will allow Belichick to show the world he is still a magician on the sideline while working closely with Newton to soften and round out his rough edges. For Newton, this will allow him to grow as a quarterback and as a man in football’s most rigorous but successful franchise.
To conclude, what better way than two of the NFL’s most polarizing figures to come together at this time. Newton is perhaps the NFL’s most divisive player. Either you love him and wish he succeeds in New England, or you hate him and think New England is making a mistake. Belichick is the NFL’s GOAT amongst head coaches. However, the Malcolm Butler fiasco and the fact that Rob Gronkowski mostly retired because of him, have allowed many to attempt to punch holes in his built culture. Brady leaving for Tampa Bay, put the icing on the cake.
Newton and Belichick have nothing to lose. But they also have so much to prove. Hopefully, this marriage will be worth it this season.